Staff

  • A.J. Baynes
    A.J. Baynes President/CEO

    A.J. Baynes, Jr. officially took over as President and CEO of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce in January 2018.  He has already begun fulfilling the Chamber’s Strategic Plan as well as providing day-to-day leadership and a strong commitment to advancing the Economic Development and Public Policy Agenda of the Chamber.

  • Joanna Pasceri
    Joanna Pasceri Senior Director of Communications and Marketing

    Joanna is a 28-year veteran of the television news business, most recently the co-anchor of the primary newscasts at WKBW-TV in Buffalo.  She comes to the Chamber after a stint as the first-ever Public Information Officer for the Erie County District Attorney’s Office. Joanna leads the marketing and communications efforts of the Chamber by promoting its strategic plan, increasing member services and sharing the stories of the businesses that are the backbone of our local economy.

  • Colleen C. DiPirro Senior Advisor Economic Development & Public Policy

    After a 36-year career at the Chamber, Colleen has stepped down as President and CEO and will now serve as Senior Advisor, Economic Development and Public Policy, consulting the Chamber on the initiatives that create a stronger, more vibrant region.

  • Christine Langenfeld
    Christine Langenfeld Director of Operations
    Licensed NYS Health Insurance Broker/Agent 

    Christine serves as an integral part of the Senior Leadership Team and is responsible for the fiduciary oversight of the organization’s assets and resources. She provides executive support to all Chamber departments, committees and councils.

  • Olivia Dann
    Olivia Dann Coordinator, Member Benefits
    Licensed NYS Health Insurance Broker/Agent 

    Olivia meets with businesses in the area to familiarize them with the benefits of membership in the area. She is the lead in the identification of locations for our popular Business After Hours series and coordinates Ribbon Cuttings and Grand Openings, in addition to leading our ProNet Groups.  Olivia serves as a business community conduit and communicates gaps in the marketplace with Chamber leadership for the purpose of mobilizing programs and services as a solution.

  • Penny LaPlaca
    Penny LaPlaca  Manager, Insurance
    Licensed NYS Health Insurance Broker/Agent 

    Penny is the Manager of our Health Insurance division and is responsible for the administration of all health insurance-related tasks. She is always available to help you with your health insurance related questions.

Office Hours

Monday – Friday
8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Memorial Day – Labor Day
Monday – Friday
8:30am – 4:00pm

Ready to join the Amherst Chamber of Commerce’s Circle of Influence?

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Our #EmergingBusinessLeaders board is learning about brewing beer @frothbrewing! Fun meeting!
#craftbeer #ebl #boardbonding #groomingleadersWelcome Chamber member #InspireCareers, a career coaching agency in Williamsville. Be inspired to achieve your career dreams! 
#careercoach #ribboncutting #grandopening #resumetips #beinspiredGreat teaming up with @ken_tonchamber for Business After Hours @sparselfdefense! Lots of networking and a cool demonstration you can check out in this post!

#businessafterhours #chamberofcommerce #networking #selfdefense #getconnectedCongratulations to all our awardees! Join us for a celebration of small business on 5/17 at @samuelsgrandemanor.  It features a vendor showcase and an awards luncheon. More info and register at amherst.org.

@oxfordpennant @coppolafirm @buffalovideoproduction @eatfreshcatch @bflo_shops @chruscikibakery @simplypierogi 
#smallbusiness #awards #chamberofcommerce #luncheon #showcaseOur #EmergingBusinessLeaders were back in the classroom, learning about work/life balance from @paulgreiner_1! Thanks for an awesome presentation! Thanks to @dopkinsandcompany for being a great host!

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#jobskillsThe @amherstchamberofcommerce @toastmastersinternational group back at it today, perfecting speaking skills and sharing stories! Go to amherst.org to join! 
#chamberofcommerce 
#toastmastersinternational 
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#publicspeakingThanks to Lindsey Zajac of @ahernmurphyassociates for kicking off our OPEN ProNet program with her wonderful presentation on optimizing your time. Great turnout and great advice! Thanks to everyone who participated! 
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#chamberofcommerce 
#makemostoftime 
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#workbettertogetherLunch Mob at The Pub by @wegmans! Good food and great networking! 
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#thepubbywegmansDon’t dread Mondays. Join us! Register at amherst.org! 
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